Six members of Vernon’s Bell Amente handbell choir attended the recent 17th International Handbell Symposium at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Handbell choirs ranging from all over the world came from Korea, Japan, Australasia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Great Britain, the United States and Canada.
Workshops, massed ringing rehearsals and concerts were held each day during this five-day symposium. These international musicians ranged in age from teens to adults in their late 80s. Everyone ringing the same music altogether made for a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the six ringers: Mary Combe, Ronee de Langen, Sandy Edgar, Sandra Lorimer, Trudy McGrath and Bev Pothecary. Three “orphan” ringers — Janis Cowie, J.C. Coolen and Wendy Benoit — also joined our choir.
During the final massed performance, the 750 bell ringers from around the world were accompanied by a choir, trumpet, flute, cello and percussion in the various selections. Two showcase concerts and the final massed ringing concerts were sold-out performances.